North Miami appoints new police chief

Miami Times staff report | 6/12/2014, 9 a.m.

Leonard Burgess has been appointed as police chief of North Miami, ending a five-month search that included stiff competition within the city’s police force.

North Miami City Manager Aleem Ghany appointed Burgess as police chief, a move that came after many residents lobbied for him at a recent council meeting.

City officials said there were three other candidates from within the department with impressive credentials. Burgess eventually earned the top spot because of his experience, which includes being the interim police chief.

Ghany’s decision took effect last Sunday.

Former City Manager Stephen Johnson appointed Burgess as interim chief in February after Marc Elias resigned from the position.

Burgess began working for North Miami’s police force in 1984 but left in 1988. He returned to the city’s force in 2010. He was appointed assistant chief in December 2011.

Before that, he was the deputy director of the Miami-Dade Corrections and Rehabilitation Department, the sixth-largest jail system in the United States, with more than 2,500 employees.

He was with the county’s police department from November 1988 to October 2008. When he left, he was division chief of the Special Investigations Division.